Taking some of the threat out of a dangerous curve

The stuff of safety

Workers from Truesdell Corporation Midwest of Jefferson City spread a pavement treatment called High Friction Surface Treatment to the eastbound lanes of U.S. 54 near the Madison Street exit on Sunday. The treatment gives drivers a better grip on the road, and is intended to reduce the number of accidents, particularly along curves and in the rain.

Workers from Truesdell Corporation Midwest of Jefferson City spread a pavement treatment called High Friction Surface Treatment to the eastbound lanes of U.S. 54 near the Madison Street exit on Sunday. The treatment gives drivers a better grip on the road, and is intended to reduce the number of accidents, particularly along curves and in the rain. Photo by Gerry Tritz.

The Missouri Department of Transportation’s (MoDOT) first use of a new road treatment intended to reduce wrecks is taking place in Jefferson City, near the Madison Street exit of U.S. 54.

MoDOT contracted with Jefferson City’s Truesdell Corporation Midwest for $84,333 to apply the High Surface Friction Treatment, essentially small pieces of gravel that attach to the roads with epoxy. The treatment will cover 854 feet along that curve of the eastbound and westbound lanes of U.S. 54.

The special treatment is especially hard and durable, and the pieces will keep their individual shapes, which create friction for tires traveling over them.

“It will last as long as the pavement under it lasts,” said Terry Imhoff, MoDOT’s resident engineer. He said highways typically need to be overlaid with a new surface every 10-15 years.

Imhoff said the project shouldn’t take longer than four nights, depending on weather conditions. Lane closures will be required during the work.

“We are excited to implement this innovative new pavement treatment,” said Central District Engineer Dave Silvester. “When the work is finished, the High Friction Surface Treatment will help provide more traction when driving in the rain, ice or snow.”

A federal Highways for Life grant funds 80 percent of the project, while the remaining 20 percent is funded by the state. The grants are designed to fund innovative highway and bridge projects that improve safety, create jobs and enhance transportation infrastructure.

Missouri is one of 13 states to receive funding through the grant.

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